Cars deteriorate from time to time due to wear and tear, weather, oxidation and at times, human error. When they no longer worthy of being driven, they’d be sold, abandoned, or worse, scrapped; which explains why people choose modern cars. But, there’s something special about classic cars that we car enthusiasts always dream of and can’t stop loving.
AE86 is that special car for me. Even after I achieved my hachiroku dream, I never stop looking and talking to other owners who also share the same passion. In my journey, I was glad to meet an 86 purist who is committed to this Toyota model more than anyone I know of. Meet Mr CK & his red Levin.
This is a 2nd batch zenki 1984 Toyota Corolla Levin GT-Apex 3 door model which Mr CK personally imported in from Japan. It’s a 32 year-old car but with an incredibly low 53,000km genuine mileage.
Actually, this AE86 is not his first but it’s his fifth. The previous 4 cars were bought, restored and then sold one after the other at different times. Throughout his years of 86 restoration (first car in 2007), he has been learning and sourcing for the right body and parts in his aim to build the perfect AE86.
Some people call it crazy, but he thinks it’s the pursuit for perfection and his self-satisfaction, as the joy of seeing the final result is endless. :)
I always ask the owners what’s with AE86 that inspires them to own one, and they all gave me different answers including Mr CK. For him, the Corolla AE86 can be seen as a family car or a sporty hatchback sprinter, double personality car with the famous high rev 4A-GE engine during its time.
Driving the AE86 at that time was seen as something cool which inspired him even until today.
CK’s Levin you see here is one of the most original AE86 I’ve ever seen. Everything about the car is as good as it was just rolled out of the factory in Tahara, Aichi Prefecture, and you’d be surprised to know that he is letting this car go after all the hassle of importing it.
Before I share how much this AE86 is selling at, let’s check the car out!
Some might not know the differences between zenki and kouki Levin, and that’s why I brought Joe’s car for a clearer view. (Joe’s Levin is actually CK’s 4th car!) The facelift result includes change in the front bumper and front grille, although the signal lights and headlights have slight changes.
One might prefer the kouki for its more aggressive front face, but AE86 fans won’t forget about the cool feature that only zenki Levin possess, the rotating grille. When the thermostat detects high water temperature, the grille opens up automatically to let more airflow in for cooling.
Zenki (Right) has the full-face taillights and the word ‘Toyota’ on the centre garnish, whereas kouki has taillights with a black top line with a white pinstripe popularly known as the ‘Whiteline’. There is difference in the shape of the rear bumper as well.
All the late AE86 versions (’85 – ’87) have black interior, but top-of-the-line GT-Apex zenki models have the infamous red and maroon interior. Cars nowadays no longer have this classic ‘80s styling.
It was like 1984 all over again when I sat inside CK’s AE86. Every component was retained as it is with no cracks, no dirty marks and no imperfections. The Nardi Classic steering wheel is from his personal collection.
Seats are a bit faded but they are still in great shape. Many 86 enthusiasts would pay for this rare item.
Even the audio system in this car is from the ‘80s - the analogue FM radio, Pioneer cassette player and TS-X11 speaker system. Not sure whether these are original or optional items for the GT-Apex, if you know, do share with me.
Does your car have digital cluster gauge as cool as this? :)
Original stickers were where they supposed to be, and that blue sticker (top right) that says ‘Unleaded Gasoline’ proves that the car is from Japan.
More OEM accessories for AE86 could be found in the trunk.
The 1.6L Twin Cam 16valve 4A-GE engine in CK’s car is kept spotless even after all these years, thanks to the love and care from the previous Japanese owner. CK said if you’re restoring an AE86 to its former glory, this is what you should be referring to. :)
After he brought the car in, he installed a set of high-low 32 step soft-hard suspension by GAB which not only improves the damping performance, but also the driving sensation through simple adjustments.
The red and black two-tone is also properly touched up, polished and coated to look like new. You can’t find a single dust inside the car too.
At first, it came with stock 13” wheels, but CK replaced them with a nice set of 14” Watanabe Type-A wheels measuring 6.5J +9.5 at front and 7J +3 at the back. They are all wrapped in Yokohama Neova AD07 185/60 performance tyres, and secured with rare original Watanabe wheel nuts and centre cap.
From his AE86s, you can see CK is a purist. The car’s originality is important to him because it takes more than just money to keep a car running. "It’s the passion, time, effort and love for it that motivates him to fix its problems and gradually reach that goal in mind as most people would have already given up", he said.
Are you ready to hear how much this AE86 Corolla Levin GT-Apex is selling at?
Well, it's priced at a whopping RM130,000! Many of you reading this must be startled, but the premium price is decided for various reasons I shared above. A serious collector's car this Levin is and if you got the moolah, this car would look great in your garage. :)
Thank you CK for sharing his experience about his life with AE86. I am glad to know him as he inspires me to do better with my car. Thanks again CK and Joe for bringing out your Levins. It was a rare opportunity to have them both together, and the attention you guys created on the road that morning was beyond belief. :D
*Those who's interested in the car, feel free to contact CKC Automobile for more info. Tell them you see it from hayashi86.com.*